Shoulder impingement is characterized by rotator cuff tendons being pinched and causing irritation to the bursa, producing symptoms such as pain, tenderness, and weakness. Shoulder impingement can also cause inflammation and swelling, which increases pressure on the bursa and tendons. One way to check if you have a shoulder impingement is to assess if it hurts to raise your affected arm.
Baseball, tennis, and swimming are common causes of shoulder impingement. Repetitive motions involved in such sports combined with poor posture and biomechanics can irritate rotator cuff tendons.
Shoulder impingement is treated according to the severity of the injury, and treatment plans can range from at-home treatments and rest to surgery, depending on the level of impingement. Ample time should be given to make a full recovery from a shoulder impingement, which can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months.
Swelling from a shoulder impingement can restrict movement and is often uncomfortable. Icing the area and taking anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen or aspirin) can help bring down swelling, while also relieving pain.
Pain from a shoulder impingement can be disabling, preventing you from doing day-to-day tasks as well as playing sports. Orthopedic doctors can administer corticosteroid injections in the area, which can help reduce inflammation and provide longer-lasting relief from pain.
It’s best to avoid activities that cause pain while you recover from a shoulder impingement. You should perform exercises that boost recovery and strengthen your shoulder while also improving flexibility. However, you should never do exercises without the guidance of a professional. It is not uncommon for patients to irritate their rotator cuff tendons further by attempting exercises too soon or in an incorrect fashion.
Comprehensive treatment programs for patients with shoulder impingements include physical therapy exercises. A physical therapist can teach you safe stretching and strengthening exercises to improve circulation, boost healing, and gradually restore normal function and range of motion. Other than exercises, physical therapists also make use of modalities such as temperature therapy, vibration, and transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS) to stimulate muscle contractions.
The type of surgery employed to diagnose and treat shoulder impingement is arthroscopy, a minimally-invasive procedure that allows orthopedic surgeons to examine an injured joint, and many times, make necessary repairs. This procedure is minimally-invasive, meaning patients usually experience less pain and stiffness following surgery due to minimal disturbance to surrounding tissue. In addition, lower infection incidences and complication rates as well as less bleeding are reported due to the small incision size required. Recovery from arthroscopic surgery is also faster than other procedures.
Shoulder Impingement Treatment in Palm Beaches, Florida
The orthopedic surgeons at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches specialize in the treatment of sports injuries, or injuries incurred through physical activities. With our extensive experience in treating sports injuries, we can restore your mobility and function, and help you return in even better shape, especially with our full-service on-site physical therapy services.
To schedule a consultation with our sports medicine providers, call Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches at (561) 733-5888, Ext. 1, or fill out our online request form now.